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Published: Thursday, 8/6/2009

Rippingtons headline River Raisin Jazz Fest

MONROE - Contemporary jazz giants The Rippingtons will headline this year's Eighth Annual River Raisin Jazz Festival, performing for free Saturday night.

Led by guitarist Russ Freeman, the band has long been a collective of rotating members that have included David Benoit, Kenny G, and Dave Koz.

The 23-year-old band released the album "Modern Art" this year, and its new lineup includes Freeman, bassist Rico Belled, saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa, along with Dave Karasony on drums and Bill Heller on keyboards.

The festival, which is free Saturday and Sunday, will be at St. Mary's Park in Monroe.

Performances Saturday will be The River Raisin Big Band, 1 p.m.; Toledo saxophonist Jesse Coleman , 2:30 p.m.; Paul DeVee and Friends, 4 p.m.; Cindy Bradley, 5:45 p.m., and the Rippingtons, 7:30 p.m.

Performances Sunday will be Urban Transport, 1 p.m.; Elements of Sound, 2:30 p.m.; 50th Anniversary Motown Review, 4 p.m.; Dave McMurray, 5:45 p.m., and Alexander Zonjic with Jeff Lorber, Maysa, and Motor City Horns.

Also this weekend in Monroe will be the Sixth Annual Monroe Fine Arts Fair from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday in historic Loranger Square, East First and Washington streets.

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